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Story Archives: Former Guide plant Investors run gamut
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|Former Guide plant Investors run gamut|
The venture capital firm backing "Project Liberty" at the former Guide plant in Monroe counts among its partners a who's who of green industry leaders, including former Vice President Al Gore.
Gore is listed along with about 30 other individuals on a partners list for venture capital giant Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers, a California-based investment firm with ties to Amazon.com, Google and America Online.
The firm's involvement in the Monroe plant is spearheaded by Silicon Valley titan John Doerr, a venture capitalist who has a long history of investing in successful projects. Forbes magazine consistently ranks Doerr among the most influential billionaires in Silicon Valley.
Ventures Doerr backed include Google, Amazon.com and Compaq Computers. Doerr also holds a number of engineering patents from his tenure at microchip manufacturer Intel.
Doerr is no stranger to government circles, either.
In 2009, President Barack Obama named Doerr a special advisor to the president on matters concerning economic recovery.
The Monroe project also sports among its supporters Kliener Perkins managing partner Ray Lane.
A Silicon Valley giant in his own right, Lane served as CEO of Oracle, a database software company. He also worked on a number of high profile projects at IBM.
His Kleiner Perkins portfolio includes automotive start-up Fisker Automotive, an American automobile manufacture focused on building fuel-efficient hybrid cars.
Lane's involvement in Project Liberty has fueled speculation that the deal to be announced on Wednesday will feature Fisker Automotive, which has been looking for a facility to build the Karma, a luxury hybrid sedan.
Louisiana businessman James Davison is also involved in the project as well.
Davison, a staunch supporter of La. Tech University, bought the former Guide plant last year. At that time, Davison said he purchased the plant as an investment and had no potential tenants.
Within the past of couple of years, Davison sold 49 percent of one of his companies to Genesis Energy of Houston, Texas. He collected about $600 million while securing control of Genesis's board of directors.
In addition to Davison's investment in the project, local governments have announced a $15 million incentives package to help the new tenants set up shop. In all, the incentives package, including the state's contribution, to lure Land and Doerr to northeaster Louisiana totals some $100 million.
Meanwhile, Davison has said the project would require him to double the size of the Guide plant.
Those close to the project have declined to reveal precisely what will be produced in the facility, beyond repeated statements that the factory would be used to assemble "unique automobiles."